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Don’t Eat This! – Foods to Avoid If You Have Braces

By April 17, 2019September 22nd, 2023No Comments

Girl with braces eating pizza

We think about how food affects our health, happiness, and teeth; but if we wear braces, we should also think about how food affects them.

We think about how food affects our health, we think about how food affects our happiness, and we think about how food affects our teeth; but, if we wear braces, we should also think about how food affects them. Braces are an investment in dental health, and to get the best results and best value from your investment, there are a few best practices you should follow, and that includes knowing what foods to avoid if you have braces.

Braces are designed to be as unobtrusive and comfortable as possible; however, this also makes these type of orthodontics quite delicate. When you wear braces, some foods can place too much pressure on your orthodontics, which can break wires and brackets. Additionally, tiny particles of sticky foods can get stuck between the wires, which makes them hard to clean and can lead to excessive plaque build up.

Children wearing braces






When it comes to wearing braces, some foods are just a whole lot worse than others.

As a quick, easy-to-remember guide, we have compiled the following list of foods to avoid with braces:

  • Corn on the Cob
  • Popcorn
  • Chewing Gum
  • Toffees, Caramels, and Lollipops
  • Meat on the Bone
  • Carrots and Apples
  • Nuts
  • Bagels and Pizza Crusts

As you can see, there are a number of foods to avoid with braces.

Basically, when you wear braces you should avoid any hard foods and sticky or chewy foods. And if you do want to eat lamb chops, pork chops, chicken wings, spare ribs or T-bone steaks, just make sure you cut the meat off the bone. Carrots, apples and any hard fruit or vegetables should be cut into small pieces.

And it’s not just certain foods you need to be careful with, fizzy drinks and caffeinated drinks should be avoided when wearing braces. The sugar and acid in fizzy drinks can lie under the metal wires where it eats away at the enamel on the surface of the tooth.

Foods to avoid if you have braces


There are also certain foods to avoid with ceramic braces, and foods to avoid with clear braces as well.

Foods to avoid with ceramic braces include tomatoes, mustard, coffee, tea, and red wine. Nicotine and blueberries should also be avoided, and beware of turmeric; turmeric can stain ceramic and plastic yellow.

We know this sounds like a lot of “don’ts” to follow, but there are a lot of healthy foods you can still enjoy: bananas, strawberries and peaches are all delicious and nutritious.

And don’t worry; you can still enjoy ice cream, just make sure to brush your teeth after this delicious and sweet treat. If you have any questions about what you can and can’t eat or drink with your braces, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. We’re happy to help!


Dr. James Scramstad

Author Dr. James Scramstad

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